STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 8th Feb:
Even as opposition MLAs walked out of the assembly for the third consecutive day, the House passed demands for grants of four different departments amounting to Rs 1,419,52,83,000 on Thursday.
The Demands for Grants included Demand no 8 (Public Works Department) Rs 990,29,46,000; Demand no 26 (Administration of Justice) Rs 97,09,26,000; Demand no 44 (Social Welfare Department) Rs 327,55,11,000 and Demand no 46 (Science and Technology) Rs 4,59,00,000.
Opposition MLAs K Govindas Singh, Dr Chaltonlien Amo, Th Lokeshwar Singh, D Korungthang, K Meghachandra Singh, DD Thaisii, AK Mirabai Devi, Md Abdul Nasir, Kh Joykisan Singh, Surjakumar Okram and K Ranjit Singh raised policy cut motion during the discussion of the demands in the evening session.
Opposition MLAs put up the motion during the discussion of demand for grants for PWD on ground of including black listed contractors on tender bidding and consequently providing them work orders, allowing a retired government employee to sign government orders, non-release of CDAs by the government, non-sanctioning of expenditures of department approved work programmes and administrative approvals, non-completion of mini-secretariat complex at Mantripukhri and non-completion of market complex at the erstwhile Tombisana High School.
The opposition MLAs raised their voices against providing work order for improvement of roads connecting from Wangoi to Mutum Phibou to a contractor blacklisted by NHIDCL and said that it is against all tender bidding procedures. Moreover, the opposition MLAs questioned as to why one retired deputy secretary namely Thoudam Amalkumar was allowed to sit in the office and sign on different officials papers of the government.
Meanwhile, Th Lokeshwar said that though every MLA is provided an amount of Rs 20 lakh each for renovation of their official quarters, his share was not given. He also pointed out the need to use machines while blacktopping state highways so as to maintain uniformity in level and to increase its durability. Moreover, the government needs to look into the dilapidating condition of inter village roads, major district roads and state highways.
MLA K Meghachandra while bringing up the policy cut motion during discussion on demand for grants of social welfare department said that the state government should provide the list of deceased persons who had availed old age pension schemes as there are reports that the department is providing benefits of the scheme to people at their sweet will.
He also pointed out the need to increase the amount of pension for aged people as Rs 200 per month is very less. The government should put in their share as is done in the case of Goa (Rs 3000) and Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 1000). MLA Okram Surajkumar said that cases of crimes against women and children are increasing gradually. Therefore, the amount of Rs 40 lakh provided in the budget for state women commission is very less considering the rate of crimes being reported. He also pointed out that the budget allocated for the women commission in Delhi is Rs 40 crore. Giving clarification on Demand No 8 (Public Works Department), Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that State Government cannot check blacklisted contractors from taking part in tenders as NHIDCL is under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He also said that there is no instruction from the Centre to blacklist the same while replying to policy cut raised by Kh Joykisan Singh, K Govindas Singh and Dr Chaltonlien Amo.